In this article, we'll review a quick & easy self-check to help relieve pain, and all it requires is your phone and a friend.
Ready for it? Simply record yourself doing the movements that cause you the most discomfort. From there, playback the video to yourself and look for any movement patterns that look abnormal or imbalanced.
If you're comfortable using your phone camera, you can even record the video in slow motion or slow down the playback to help breakdown the film.
If you are in pain, have limited mobility, or decreased performance, I bet something will jump right off the screen. It's not rocket science and it doesn't have to be difficult. It's quick, easy, and can save a lot of time and money on the back end.
Let's look at a few examples of how we utilize this tool at Premier:
Figure 1 below shows a Premier family member walking. You can see the location of her pain is located on the posterior hip, near her glute medius.
When she walks, she presents significant knee valgus (knee collapses toward the midline due to hip adduction and hip internal rotation. Having this issue for many years, all of her muscles on the lateral side (or outside) of that right leg have been chronically lengthened.
You could infer that the pain is a result of these improper walking mechanics. Walking and sitting is when this client is in an elevated pain state. Ironically, she also sits with her right leg in this position (knee valgus). Coincidence? I think not.
Example #2 is a little more complex. This time, the Premier family member suffered from right shoulder pain.
The first step was to discuss what movements present the most discomfort. In this case, it was the "muscle-up" exercise. The next step was to have her perform that exercise and record it. The last step was to break down the video (in slow motion) and review for any compensations we did not catch in live action.
Upon first glance, the thing that jumps out the most is the difference in shoulder angle in Figure 4.
It's easy to focus on this part of the exercise because that's where the shoulder is doing the most work, and there is clearly an imbalance or compensation occurring. But, not so fast....
Let's rewind the footage a little bit and determine if there's another reason that shoulder imbalance is occurring.
Figure 3 shows the left leg swinging through faster while the right leg lags behind. Figure 2 shows that imbalance coming out even sooner in the exercise.
Is it possible that the end result of the exercise (pain occurring in the right shoulder) is actually a result of the initial muscle-up movement that involves a faster left leg swing?
Yes, that was precisely the outcome.
Now, let's take another look at Figure 4. The left biceps is clearly shortened - which is an issue. How do we know this? Well, if it were in more of a lengthened position, the left arm would look like the right.
When the left biceps stays in a shortened state during the muscle-up, the right arm is forced to do more work, putting it at high risk for shoulder pain.
This same biceps/triceps compensation presented itself during a straight-arm front delt raise in our Neuro Therapy sessions. As we climbed to higher output powers on the device, she was not able to keep her left arm straight.
(Remember back to why we look for straight lines and right angles? See blog here:
After a few weeks of re-educating the left arm muscles (biceps and triceps) to work properly together in the front delt raise, we were able to transfer the same mind-muscle connection to the muscle-up exercise, while focusing on an even leg swing. The pain in the right shoulder substantially decreased until finally subsiding for good.
Pretty awesome tool we all have in our phones, but I might be biased ;)
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility for people who want to stay active into their 40s, 50s, and beyond.
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